CHICAGO, Jan. 16, 2018—Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey issued the following statement today regarding the passing of retired federal judge Milton Shadur:
“We’re deeply saddened to learn of the passing of judge Shadur. He was truly a titan of fairness and decency on the bench, and ruled on a number of cases that materially advanced the cause of educational justice for our students, and fairness and dignity for our members. As recently as May of this year, he ruled to allow the CTU to continue our class action lawsuit against CPS for discriminating against Black teachers and staff via layoffs, a case that we first brought in 2011. His careful stewarding of that case has allowed us to continue to legally challenge racial disparities in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s treatment of Black CPS educators—a case that remains ongoing.
Judge Shadur issued groundbreaking rulings on a host of critical cases related to social and economic justice. He was among the first judges to acknowledge the use of torture by Chicago police commander Jon Burge and his associates. He oversaw a long-standing case challenging chronic overcrowding in Cook County Jail that played a central role in mitigating inhumane conditions in the facility today. And early in his judicial career, he oversaw a landmark Chicago school desegregation case—with the funds to support that effort ultimately derailed by a veto of funds by then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan.
While our union has not always agreed with Judge Shadur, we knew that we could always count on his fairness, his integrity and his decency in the courtroom. He will be sorely missed, and we hope his record of public service continues to serve as an inspiration to justices on both federal and circuit court benches today. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and colleagues.